AWD #446: The Bigger Picture
The Bigger Picture
Summary: Elias and Jameson talk about the potential of an alliance and Clara's place in it all.
Date: 11/09/2016 (OOC Date)
Related Logs: None
Jameson Elias 
The Combat Information Center is the tactical heart of the ship. This CIC is designed in a circular formation, the original Admiral apparently a fan of the classical set-up. Dead center are a set of large monitors suspended from the ceiling with DRADIS readings as well as other vital shipboard information. Under this is a small map table outlining current plots and positions. The table has a built-in phone as well as smaller displays relating to critical damage reports. Both port and starboard watch stations are set at all times, in two rows of tiers like stadium seating, one above the other. Each station has a purpose — Helm, Weapons, Communications, Electronic Warfare, Damage Control, and further tactical monitoring. More displays and banks of computer monitors line the walls. This area is heavily guarded by armed Marines at all hours of the day and night.
AWD #446

The memo had gone out the night before and Jameson usually has a stack of files to sort through when he begins his rotation in CIC. Today is no different. After reading the note he was CC'd on from Elias, he sends a runner to have the Major join him in CIC when he has a few minutes to discuss the memo. He doesn't have to let him know what it is about, so its a clear courtesy of respect. When Elias arrives in CIC, it looks like business as usual. People are at their stations and working. The Air Boss is tracking the CAPs in orbit and the stationkeeping on the fleet. Jameson is standing over the smaller map table at the center of the room, reading over a clipboard that a yeoman is waiting for him to sign.

Elias slips into CIC, locates the Admiral, and crosses the compartment to await his turn with the Fleet's commanding officer. Having just come on duty, his blues look relatively fresh, but he already smells of cigarettes and must hide a yawn behind his fist as he waits. The delay gives him a chance to look over his own paperwork, now on the top of his bulging clipboard. Once Jameson has signed off with the yoeman, the intel officer steps up to the plate. "Admirial. You wanted to discuss Specialist Mercier, sir?"

Signed, the Admiral dismisses the yeoman and looks to Elias. "Yep, sure did." He gestures the Major closer to stand at the table with him. "You can be at ease, son. I'm not here to rip you apart or anything. I did have some questions, though. But first I wanted to echo your remarks about needing to know the maternity of the Specialist and that kid that showed up. Someone's been lying to us or there's something else going on and I'd rather be standing on top of it when it gets here." He takes a long breath and looks over to Elias from the dradis image above. "I wanted to touch on both points. Last one first. Lemme ask you Elias, do you have kids? Ever been in love?" Probably not the questions he was expecting to hear, but the Admiral is speaking in a very hushed voice.

"Mmm," Elias makes an understanding noise, stepping closer as Jameson waves him nearer. "It's also possible that any or all of the skinjobs have incorrect information, sir. Their memories and knowledge are suspect." He is silent, listening as the Admiral makes his point. And no, it is not what he was expecting. Elias hesitates, a faint frown curving his lips. It is clear he's far from comfortable with a personal question like that, and his response is kept equally low. "It is … something I once seriously considered, sir. Before the war. But no. No children, sir." Normally he might guess where the Admiral is going with an argument, but this time, no.

Lou shakes his head. "Me neither. But my wife did. She had two boys and a girl. She was also a career Marine. The last thing I would ever want to do would be to come between her and her kids. If you want to make mortal enemies of a mom, frak with her kids." hands lift to clasp in front of him on the table an he leans forward on his elbows. "I'm not gonna override your orders, Elias, but I want you to be aware of the ramifications of what you are doing. If this kid is a legitimate child of a skinjob and our first act after proving that is to take that child away until we decide she's fit to be a parent? What does that tell the skinjobs when they find out this three wasn't boxed but actually escaped? Does she lose her parental rights just because she may not win her humanity?"

The young Major listens as Jameson tells the story of his wife and step-children, and he gives a quick nod to show he follows. Somewhere along the line he starts to look a little quizzical, however. And though he wants to check something even before the Admiral is done, Elias waits until the questions have been delivered before flipping through his clipboard and checking his copy of the memo in question. "I apologize if I wasn't clear, Admiral. Yesterday was a long day." He looks up and explains in a matter of fact way. "I am proposing that we respect Specialist's custody of her son. Until the tribunal at the very least. Even if the child turns out not to be hers, my recommendation would still be for her to keep custody, sir." His point is not premised on kindness, however, or at least not entirely so. "The Specialist has agreed to help restore the Threes, if it's possible. We want her … as happy as possible, sir."

The Admiral listens and nods. "Got it. Glad that air is clear, then. That's something I didn't want to make any bones about. Cuz when the woman aboard the ship rioted I wanted to make sure I knew you were the one I could throw under the bus." Jameson smirks ever so slightly. "Also glad to hear about with the threes. If that's the case, then the rest will be even more relevant." He extends a finger from his clasped hands. "I want you to consider the removal from combat operations a little more. If she really is the only one of her kind, and if she downloads then she's dead, then doesn't that make her just as human as the rest of us?" The finger moves back to the clasp. "Mostly I'm interested in the logic behind the decision."

"Understood, sir," Elias says with a thin, wry smile for the Admiral's joke about throwing him under the bus. Because he is fairly certain that would happen, if there were a need. Then he purses his lips, reconsiderng the question of sending Clara Mercier into combat. It doesn't take long. "My reasoning is this: If she restores the Threes, we are likely to have an entire line who has literally lived as one of us. She's seen the war from our perspective and she has already been to Pireaus. If she's killed in action? All of those experiences are lost. In my opinion, that is a lot to risk in return for one more combat medic, sir." And to this he adds some additional context. "I believe we are nearing a tipping point with the Lines. It won't be long before they will be forced to act, and I want to do everything possible to be certain they side with us, sir."

Given the Admiral's expression and his attention on Elias, it is clear this isn't something he is tossing aside for his own opinion. The Major's thoughts do seem to have a sway to them. The weight of the situation can be felt and even seen just a bit as he dips his head to look at the empty table. "You might be very right, especially with those two in our brig. In fact, at this stage, I'm inclined to believe we may be past the point. What's to stop this from snowballing into the whole race at this point?" The question is clearly rhetorical, though. "It's a lot to risk. But her line is not fighting and the Ones have her boxed. If they can wake the line, do you think the Three's are likely to have any love lost for the Ones by joining the fight against?" He looks back over. "There's another factor. The martyr. If she goes on ops and dies on the field, we have her daughter. We protect her, we keep her safe, and we hand her over custody to one of the skinjobs. Which brings up another point. How do you think that race is going to react to finding out that not only is there a Three alive, but she has a kid?"

"Nothing, sir." Elias says for the possible snowball effect. "And I am not sure we would want to stop it, even if we could." The intel officer considers saying more, then glances around before offering his further thoughts to Jameson. "We have a mutual enemy, and they are in a position to do a great deal of damage when the time comes to act openly. I think our best chance is an alliance, sir." On the subject of the Threes, he's less certain. "I think it's a question of effectivenes, sir. I believe she is more valuable as a template for her Line than as a martyr, sir. Though I suppose that could also have some value." A fact he is not happy to admit, but still true. "As a contingency plan." As for how the other lines will react, Elias can only shake his head. "I assume with disbelief. Which is another reason to keep Mercier safe, sir. At least until she can speak to them herself."

"I have no intention of letting anyone stop the snowball. I want it to just keep going until it starts an avalanche. We didn't have much chance of winning this war before this. Now it actually feels like we have a fighting chance of grabbin' them by the nose and kickin them in the ass. You better believe I'm intent on an alliance militarily. We can sort out the social problems and guilt and warcrimes if we even survive this thing." He sighs, taking a few minutes to switch gears back to what he was driving at. "If you're open to alternatives other than removing her from combat, then explore them. We have a talented Corpsman. She wants to serve. The Catch-22 on this is that its going to be hard to prove her contribution in a court if she's not allowed to prove her humanity. Same damned problem we ran into with Knox and Ceres. We let them serve until right up before the tribunal. Like I said, I'm not going to countermand your orders. I didn't promote you to Major for arbitrary reasons. But I'd really like you to consider the options and what's being offered for what's being given. Again, strategically, not tactically, and how this might be percieved through the eyes of a potential alliance." He nods more towards Elias. "And unless you've got strong objections and can tell me a good reason why we shouldn't, I want you to put her in the room with Seven and Twelve. If she refuses, I want them notified she's alive and serving voluntarily with us."

Elias gives a quick nod of agreement when the Admiral lays out his general ideas for the progress of the war, especially the point about not getting bogged down in the messier bits. "Mmm." As for Clara's fate, the Major seems less than convinced, but he's not going to argue with the Admiral further. "I like to think I have an open mind, sir." Which could be taken as agreement to reconsider. "As for the tribunal, I suspect that won't be much of a problem for her. She was never a Cylon agent or part of their war effort. She has been living and serving as a human. And she is willing to give up her individuality to help end the war. Unless the tribunal plans to indict her simply for what she is…" He leaves it at that, and moves on to Jameson's orders regarding their guest. "I don't have any objections, sir, though I can't say how that will go." Which is a concern for the intel guy. "Specialist Mercier can be a bit … sullen. But I will see if she's willing."

"We don't know who will be on the tribunal, Elias. They could decide anything. If you have to, talk to Mercier about your concerns about how to get what you both want. If the big concern is losing her time as a human, have her make a video or something. A testimony for the other threes. I'm sure we've got plenty of helmet cam video of her to prove she isn't being forced to make a tape." The Admiral has spoken but is still leaving it in his court for a decision. "But that's all I ask for her and the other models. Get her into a room with them. If she won't, we're telling them. I'd rather it come from her. If she can't understand why, tell her this is a strategic level decision for transparency with the intent towards building a foundation with those two in the brig. She doesn't need pigtails and a pink dress, just show up and talk to them for a few minutes. Let them know who she is."

"Mmm," Elias sounds a little guarded about the whole tribunal thing, if not terribly concerned about potential difficulties. But he nods his understranding for Jameson's instructions. "Yes, sir." The Admiral's wishes are plenty clear, even if the decision is ultimately being left to him. All the more reason to make the correct one. And again there's the same curt nod, accepting the call to put the various lines together and see what happens. "I will get her to speak with them … and we'll see what happens. Along those lines, Admiral. This may also be the time to add all our resident lines into the mix. They need to talk about Piraeus, and I think it would be better received coming from Sergant Knox."

Jameson nods slowly, considering. There's a lot of moving parts. Too many to track. Twelve lines with even more possible combinations of intercepting issues. It's a logical nightmare. "I think you've made a pretty good point about that. Something like a summit. Get them all in one room and let them talk." Jameson takes a breath again. "Okay, I'll trust your judgment on this. If they request privacy, I'll give them no audio and no humans in the room - but I won't have that many on my ship in one place without video surveillance. Copy?"

"Understood, sir." No argument on the security from Elias. "I'll broach the subject and see where it goes." He pulls his pen from his breast pocket, scrawls a few notes on his clipboard, and then looks back to the Admiral. "Anything else, Admiral?"

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